Stay In A Pub And Enjoy London Life

.Stay in a Pub and enjoy London life with The Wellington right next to Waterloo

IT’S an extraordinary and iconic part of London and one in which you would hardly expect to find peace, writes Richard Birch.

Around 100 million passengers a year make their way across the platforms of Waterloo Station which, itself, is five minutes from the London Eye (well, the Coca Cola London Eye branding fans). Hungerford Bridge with its views of the Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower (or Big Ben if we’re not being pedantic).

And the streets which surround The Wellington, right across the road from Waterloo Station, are no less busy with travellers and tourists mixing with the residents of the London borough of Lambeth.

Our arrival, a little unfortunately, coincided with North London’s finest Arsenal being pounded by Liverpool on the pub’s big screens. I say unfortunate because it meant my children had to wait outside while football fans packed into the bar area which doubles as the reception in case, security told us, they “heard words which they shouldn’t”.

It was understandable, though, initially a little disconcerting, but on the other hand it was great to see a pub thriving and business is business.

Staff thoughout, however, were excellent and once shown to our room, the hotel felt a world apart from the scene we had encountered below.

There’s 25 bedrooms, all of which come with a flavour of London life through wall murals or furnishings. What was most remarkable was just how quiet it was. The sound of Lambeth life or the second half of proceedings at Anfield didn’t carry into our room which came with everything you would expect and felt as if great and attention had been paid to creating a relaxing environment.

Our room came with a large double bed, single bed and pullout sofa, alongside free WIFI, a flatscreen TV’ and ensuite shower rooms.

When morning came, well-rested, we had a chance to explore downstairs as we prepared to enjoy our free full English breakfast.

The historic pub revels in its history, named after one of England’s greatest military heroes with several paintings in his honour, but also in its ghosts (soldiers from its temporary use as a military hospital roam the rooms) and links to London’s… um… more colourful fraternity (i.e. those who like to partake in a train robbery).

Breakfast, by the way, was superb with plenty of options for even the fussiest of eaters to ensure they are well-rested for the exploration which will inevitably follow.

Located on Waterloo Road, as it advertises itself quite truthfully “the whole of London is on your doorstep”. Jump on the Tube to get you want to go or, as we did, simply walk out, get to the Thames and pick a direction. We quickly found a route to The Globe (via the This Morning studio!) then charted a path to Covent Garden and Leicester Square, before heading back to the South West via Paddington.

Little legs were well-rested and, the good night of sleep certainly made my children more than pleasant capital explorers.

Rooms at The Wellington, owned by Fuller’s, start from £62 a night. There is a traditional pub menu while traditional and seasonal cask ales are always on tap – and they have a wide range of world wines and premium lagers too.

The trip to The Wellington was coordinated by Stay In A Pub – – is a website listing more than 1,500 pubs across the UK, with full information and online reservation for most. A spokesman said: “Pubs are ideal places to stay for a range of occasions. From visits to friends or family, country walks, cycling or walking trips, cultural breaks and shopping sprees, as well as business travel. Staying in a pub means a warm welcome from the publican, a sociable pint of cask ale at the bar and a meal that can range from tasty pub classics to Michelin-starred cuisine. And your room is usually just a short walk upstairs at the end of the evening. No wonder a growing number of consumers are choosing a characterful pub over an anonymous budget hotel.”